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Last June police in Tbilisi, Georgia (South Caucasus) seized a taxi which was transporting radioactive sources Cesium and Strontium. The owner of the vehicle said, he knew nothing about the contents of the freight. Even a tiny fraction of a curie of strontium, if inhaled or ingested, can cause cancer. This is an example of the so-called orphaned sources: radioactive materials that are lying around in Georgia, a former Soviet republic. They have been found in forests and rivers, and in the city. Some of these materials were left behind by the Soviet army after the collapse of the Soviet Union, some found their way to Georgia via illegal trading. In Caucasus places where nuclear waste is stored have not always been well regulated. Large amounts of waste have been stolen by soldiers and citizens, hoping to make money out of it. In 1997 eleven Georgian soldiers were exposed to radiation and made seriously ill. In winter 2002, three residents of Tsalenjikha, western Georgia, suffered severe injuries due to exposure to a strontium source.
The issue radioactive pollution is politically sensitive in Caucasus countries. Governments seem to be closing up about the subject and information is difficult to obtain. Moreover, since 11th of September the subject radioactive materials is also being connected to ‘the war on terrorism’ (Georgia is neighboring Chechnya) and illegal trading of sources. But main reason for Falkor I.C.Y. to produce a video documentary on the subject is the effect radioactive substances have on citizens and environment. Bad accidents did happen last years and still sources are missing. What is being done to improve the safety of Georgian people? A part of the video can be watched online (or download) from the Next5Minutes website http://www.n5m.org/n5m4/medialibrary/section.php?sec=documentary.
Author: Faktor I.C.Y. Year: 2003 ISBN: Zonder Pages: Language: English Publisher: Faktor I.C.Y. Publisher's city: Groningen Publication date: